With the boom of the social media movement throughout the past few years, there are inevitable pros and cons to the impact it has on mental health. The positive is that we can be connected to so many people across the globe yet the biggest problem is that we are so connected with everyone around the world.
An amazing pro to social media is that you have the ability to connect to any one person around the world. You can connect with like-minded people whether it be from interests, career, or hobbies which can make you feel that you are not the only person out there who enjoys a specific area of interest. More than 25% of teenagers report that social media makes them feel less shy. It gives them a platform to make friends through a more comfortable channel.
The con to this idea is that many begin to rely solely on social media to connect with others and disconnect in real life. This feeling of disconnect can put youth at a higher risk for depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders. The “passive consumption” of social media by scrolling through posts, is related to loneliness.
The DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) includes new diagnosis pertaining to gauging Internet Addiction. Since this release, Facebook addiction has been at the forefront of discussion in media outlets and academic journals. Many Social Media users can crave online They found that among their participants, social media use was craved even more than tobacco and alcohol. One study suggested that addictive social media use reflected increased chance of having narcissistic personality traits.
Many also do not take social media addiction seriously. A “Facebook addiction” can be taken as a light-hearted joke. Yet, it is a serious issue that can have a profound impact on mental health development. A 2012 study released by the National Institutes of Health stated that Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) ruins lives by creating neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social development issues.
Living a part of your life online opens yourself up to open critique to anyone who can find you one the internet. This comes with some repercussions. You begin to exercise narcissistic tendencies because you inherently looking to receive praise for the content you put out but it opens you up to also negative comments. Instagram is a huge platform to become dependent on likes and comments.
Accord DailyMail, Millennials specifically find Instagram to be the platform for extreme narcissism to occur. Some users even delete photos when they find that they did not receive enough likes on a post.